HVAC Schools Near Me in Benton TN 37307

How to Select an HVAC Certification Course near Benton Tennessee

Benton TN HVAC tech servicing AC compressorOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner professional, the next step is to locate an HVAC vocational school near Benton TN. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide on the best one to get the training that you need? A number of prospective students will make their decision based exclusively on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. Although these are necessary considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. A few of the other details that you need to investigate are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and additional benchmarks will be covered in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and cooling technician does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.

How to Become an HVAC Professional in Benton TN

Benton TN HVAC tech servicing industrial furnacesHVAC is an acronym that is commonly used in the industry that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, maintenance and repair of air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are commonly mandated to be licensed, however each state and regional municipality has its own criteria. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but an alternative way for Benton TN HVAC techs to prove that they are highly proficient and accomplished in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the important ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency examination and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have three years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in various specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that handle refrigerants. There are 3 forms of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to earn certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC technical school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be handling refrigerants, make certain that the program you select prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Classes

Benton TN HVAC contractor installing residential water heaterThere are a number of alternatives available for HVAC training in a trade or technical school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the least amount of time, typically achieved in as little as 6 months, however some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more comprehensive training than the certificate programs. Following is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Benton TN.

  • Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They provide a strong foundation of skills for job opportunities within the trade.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program provides a more extensive background of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally requiring 2 years to complete, many degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is tailored more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional 4 year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Selecting the right credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, in addition to the time and financial resources that you have to invest. One possibility is to start with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the field in Benton TN, subsequently going back to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your strategy, be sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Training Online

attending HVAC Training School Online in Benton TNEnrolling in an HVAC school online is one option in attaining your education and earning a degree or certificate. Almost all schools will require some attendance on campus to take part in hands on training. Many also offer internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the balance of the classes may be participated in via the internet, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for some Benton TN students that are short on time. And many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even travelling expenses from Benton and study supplies can be minimized, helping to make education more budget-friendly. And a large number of online programs are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family obligations have left you with limited time to attend classes, maybe an HVAC online training program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your hectic lifestyle.

Questions to Ask HVAC Training Classes near Benton TN

When you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you wish to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Benton TN area and all over the USA to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of important qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC trade programs in the Benton TN area have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Benton TN HVAC employers to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.

Apprenticeship Programs.  Most HVAC vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Benton TN HVAC companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the HVAC specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Benton TN HVAC contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Benton TN home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Benton TN, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Attending HVAC School near Benton TN?

Benton fireworks disaster

The Benton fireworks disaster was an industrial disaster that occurred on May 27, 1983 on a farm near Benton, Tennessee. A massive explosion at an unlicensed fireworks factory producing illegal fireworks killed eleven, injured one, and revealed the existence of the factory for the first time to law enforcement and the public. The initial explosion was heard more than 20 miles away and the operation has been reported to have been the largest illegal fireworks operation in history.[1]

The event gained national attention, covered by multiple media outlets, and eventually led to the conviction of a number of people including the owner, a man who was considered to be the mastermind, and several others who conspired to manufacture, transport, or allow the fireworks manufactured at the operation to be transported.

Webb's Bait Farm, located along Welcome Valley Road near an intersection with Reynolds Bridge Road and Pankey Lane in rural Polk County about two miles south of Benton, grew and manufactured worms and other fishing bait and sold fishing equipment.[2] It had been in operation since 1978 and was owned by Dan Lee Webb, aged 30 at the time of the disaster.[3]

The location could not be found.

Choose the Right HVAC Trade School near Benton TN

Finding the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating and cooling field. As we have addressed in this post, you need to choose a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed HVAC specialist in Benton TN.

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